From occasional sleeping difficulty to insomnia, almost all of us are facing sleeping-problems. However, studies show that cure for our sleeping-problems can be often found in our routine.
Human beings have a day-night cycle of about 24 hours called the circadian rhythm. It greatly influences when we sleep and the quantity and the quality of our sleep. The more stable and consistent our circadian rhythm is, the better our sleep. When we travel to a different time zone the circadian rhythm is altered forcing jetlag.
How well we can function on our waking hours depends greatly on how we sleep. The following tips will help you to sleep better, wake up fresh, be mentally sharp, full of energy and emotionally balanced all day long.
Set a regular bedtime
Try to go to bed at the same time every night- even on weekends. Choose a time when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn. Similarly wake up at the same time every morning. If you getting enough sleep, you should be able to get up without any alarm clock.
If you are running a backlog on sleep quota, take a daytime nap. A small 20-30 minute nap is a great way to recharge without disturbing your sleep routine.
Turn off your television and computer.
Do not use television to fall asleep, or to relax while in bed. Not only the light suppresses melatonin production, but television can also actually stimulate the mind, rather than relaxing it.
Change your bright light bulbs.
Avoid bright lights before bed, use low-wattage bulbs instead. And when it is time to sleep, ensure that the room is dark.
Avoid big meals at night.
Avoid heavy, spicy meals for dinner. Also make dinnertime earlier in the evening. Food rich in fat takes a lot of work and time in stomach to digest. You may be up the entire time. Also what you eat during the day plays a role on how well you will sleep.
Avoid alcohol or coffee before bedtime.
Alcohol might make you fall asleep faster; however it will not help in good sleep. Also might make you dehydrated, forcing you to wake up many a time for water. Similarly coffee can remain in your system for up to 12 hours and might affect the quality of sleep.
Smoking disturbs sleep in ways more than one. Nicotine, a stimulant, disrupts sleep, also smokers experience nicotine withdrawal as the night progresses, making it hard to sleep.
In addition to the above try the below listed bedtime rituals:
- Take a warm bath
- Listen to some calming music
- Do some stretches
- Take some time out for your favorite hobby to unwind you
- Read a book by soft light
If despite trying all the tips mentioned above, you are still struggling with sleep problems, you may have a sleep disorder that requires professional help. Please consider scheduling a visit with a sleep doctor.
Most sleep disorders have one or more of the below symptoms:
- Persistent daytime sleepiness or fatigue
- Loud snoring accompanied by pauses in breathing
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Frequent morning headaches
- Crawling sensations in your legs or arms at night
- Inability to move while falling asleep or waking up
- Physically acting out dreams during sleep
- Falling asleep at inappropriate times